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A Times Editorial

Board of Governors could learn from USF president Judy Genshaft

So the Board of Governors is "extremely displeased" that University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft had the audacity to replace an administrator she could no longer trust. The board that oversees the state university system could learn a lesson from her about standing up to bullying instead of acting like a bully itself.

Genshaft replaced the chancellor of USF's Lakeland campus this week with good reason. Marshall Goodman answered more to state Sen. JD Alexander than to his boss as the two steamrolled their way toward severing the campus' ties with USF and making it an independent university. It would not have come to this if the Board of Governors had firmly rejected Alexander's scheme. Instead, the board created a long road map to independence for USF Polytech that Genshaft pledged to follow and that Alexander still does not like.

Even though Genshaft called them in advance about her decision to remove Goodman, board members organized a conference call to complain. The board has no authority to meddle in the personnel decisions of university presidents, and Floridians would be better off if it concentrated on the broader challenges facing state universities.

The Board of Governors failed to stand up to Alexander, who as Senate Budget Committee chairman can starve the universities of tax dollars. Genshaft finally did. If board members continue to abuse their authority and try to micromanage USF, they will be no better than the state senator who created this mess in the first place.

Board of Governors could learn from USF president Judy Genshaft 12/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 23, 2011 3:06pm]
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